Thursday, July 12, 2007


I spend more time than most people thinking about keyboards. I would share my passion with people in real life but for some reason I'm the only person in my house awake at 1:30 in the morning, which is prime prying-keys-off-of-my-keyboard-and-discussing-it time for me.

On a qwerty keyboard the letters are all over the place, grouped by frequency of use (by which I mean seperated by frequency of use), which is not random but it's close enough that it impresses me that my initials are both next to each other, and my most common keyboard shortcut. (little tiny signs like this are part of the reason I always feel vaguely special.)

Furthermore, if you make a little chart of the layout of a keyboard and then color in the letters of a particular word, you've generated an improbable visual representation of that word, which, if you are into tiny signs that show specialness, might entertain you for hours.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][t][ ][ ][i][ ][ ]
[a][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][l]
[ ][ ][c][ ][ ][n][ ]

I enjoy everything about the qwerty keyboard (it's called enlightenment) but I do have slightly small hands so I am teaching myself dvorak. And by "teaching myself dvorak" I mean "prying all of the keys from my keyboard and rearranging them and then realizing that I don't have system privileges to change the keyboard settings on my mom's laptop and giving up and trying to be satisfied with all of the good times I've had with the qwerty keyboard." Besides the indications of specialness described above, there was also... typing the word "were" and the japanese word for "carrot", which is "ninjin". And here comes the rationalization; I can feel it forming: ninjin has been my password at different times to almost every one of my accounts. I love it for its improbable perfection and convenience. Why is it so easy in a language that requires mental gymnastics to use a keyboard? Why did I choose the word carrot as a password anyway? With dvorak, that would be gone.


Fiji said...

keybords hmmm that's actually intresting I like this post althoughit is weird but mine are just the same.

Neoncow said...

While you're reminiscing the good times you've had with qwerty, you may be interested in a small program called DVassist? It allows you to use the Dvorak keyboard and works without admin privileges. As an added bonus, it has a little popup keyboard so you don't have to tear your keys out again! (Since you have likely arranged them into the original order)

It's Free Open Source software and if you take a look around the web, you will find many people attesting to its utility.